Monday, January 3, 2010

Sydney gay rights activist GARY BURNS has called on NSW Health Minister CARMEL TEBBUTT to resign over questions of probity because of her “gross wastage” of public money on dysfunctional gay organisation ACON.

Burns said Ms Tebbutt – who is also the NSW Deputy Premier and Member for Marrickville – should join the 23 other Labor MPs who have already resigned ahead of the March 26 State Election.

The gay activist said Tebbutt was spending millions of dollars on the homosexual organisation to help her secure the gay vote in her inner city Sydney seat of Marrickville, which has a high proportion of gay and lesbian constituents.

ACON, which was formerly the AIDS Council of NSW, has officially become a wide-ranging “gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual (GLBT) health and wellbeing service” under the NSW Labor Government.

According to the recently released ACON Financial Report 2009/10, ACON’s budget for the financial year was $12,638,998. The vast majority – $11,145,901 – was provided by the State Government.

The organisation spent just $819,872 on programs and services for the GLBT community – a mere 6.4 per cent of its budget – with the bulk of the taxpayer-provided millions going to staff salaries, travel, events and associated areas.

An angry Gary Burns said: “There must be proper probity when it comes to the usage of public money. Carmel Tebbutt is throwing around our money like a nymphomaniac at a swingers’ party. Carmel Tebbutt is only feathering her own nest.

“Ms Tebbutt is actually damaging our community with her actions because she has created a gravy train for a minority of gay freeloaders, and she’s left our community wide open to accusations of special treatment.”

Burns said he and other members of the gay community had made representations to Tebbutt about ACON’s embezzlement of funds, but since she repeatedly stonewalled them, it was time for her to resign.

“It is outrageous that this self-appointed Gay Government spends over $7 million on staff salaries but only $800,000 on the work it’s meant to be doing.

“It’s especially outrageous to throwing public health dollars away like this when our public hospital waiting times at record highs, and funding for nurses inadequate. You try going to a public hospital to see a doctor and see how long it takes.

“Ms Tebbutt is presiding over this and she must go.”

Marrickville, which has been held by the ALP since 1910, is currently held by Tebbutt with a majority of 7.48 per cent over the Greens. Political pundits believe the seat is under real threat of being lost to the Greens at the next State Election on Saturday, March 26.

“Ms Tebbutt is very worried,” said Mr Burns. “That’s why she’s treating the gay community like a bunch of starving neighbourhood cats. Putting out a saucer of milk for us, so we think ‘What a lovely lady’ and vote for her. Sorry, Carmel, but it won’t work. Our community is as pissed off with NSW Labor as everyone else.”

Mr Burns went on to describe ACON as “Sydney’s equivalent to the mafia” and said even the small proportion of money it spent on programs and services was “dubious”, and was doing nothing more than feeding the coffers of “gaystream organisations” like Sydney’s gay newspapers.

“You will see dubious advertisements in the dance bunny publications, paid for by ACON, advertising ACON classes for young gay men to teach them how to respond to unwanted homosexual advances,” said Mr Burns

“Whatever happened to ‘not tonight dear, I have a migraine’?

“I am a meat and three vegetable homosexual and I didn’t need classes on how to say no to Tom, Dick or Harry’s unwanted advances.”

Burns continued: “In addition to Ms Tebbutt’s resignation, I want to see ACON dismantled and any health services for the GLBT community overseen by NSW Health.

“Frankly, we would be better served if ACON was bulldozed to the ground and an AIDS memorial park planted in its place, to commemorate all those men and women who have tragically died of HIV/AIDS.

“The way ACON has gone from being the AIDS Council of NSW to a corrupt gay gravy train is an insult to the memory of those who have died.”

Full details of ACON’s financial mismanagement are available on ACON’s own website,

To view the scandalous 2009/2010 financial report, click ‘About ACON’, then ‘Annual Reports’ and ‘ACON Financial Report 2009/10’.


Media enquiries:
Gary Burns
(02) 9363 0372
0407 910 309

Author: Garry Burns

Gary Burns is an Australian anti-discrimination campaigner. He successfully tested the homosexual vilification provisions of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 with a complaint of personal homosexual vilification against broadcaster John Laws and Sydney radio station 2UE that concluded in his favour in 2002.[1] Burns went on to front public interest cases against high profile figures and media establishments for unlawful homosexual vilification.

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